Date Archives April 2021

Summer 20210 Swimsuit Picks

I wanna be upfront with y’all, I hate swimsuit season. Really just spring and summer altogether, not a big fan. It’s hot, it’s sticky, it’s sweaty. Then add on being in a swimsuit for potentially hours a day? Yeah not my definition of fun, wake me up when September ends and I can crack my sweaters out again.
Despite that, I really want to get out and enjoy the sun this year, self-esteem issues be damned (she says feeling confident now, but we’re working on it). I need a new swimsuit for this year, and I spent a lot of time shopping for the perfect one. It is literally the biggest pain in the you-know-what, but I wanted to share my work with you, and hopefully save you a little bit of time and frustration. Check out my favorite picks for summer swimsuits below!

About My Size

One thing that drives me crazy, is when bloggers share their outfits and picks without sharing their sizes. So in full clarity, these swimsuits and coverups are all ones that I feel would fit me and my body.

Swimsuit Picks

I shopped around to my favorite stores to find my new swimsuits and coverup including J. Crew, J. Crew Factory, Old Navy, Athleta, and Aerie.

J. Crew

Pro: I love J. Crew. They’re just my style and hit my goal wardrobe right on, every single time.
Con: I find that J. Crew doesn’t quite hit on two other major categories for me: price and model diversity. Price wise, it’s just a little out of range for me. When it comes to diversity, I find it’s a little lacking. A lot of thin and mostly white women. It would be nice to see some more diversity across the board.

LBI Region beach in the background. The foreground has four photos of swimsuits and coverups from J. Crew. First is a blue and white seersucker one-piece swimsuit. Second is a medium blue bikini with boy short bottoms and bow-like accent on shoulder straps. Third is a blue and white seersucker romper coverup paired with white sneakers. Fourth is a oversize white buttondown shirt coverup.

One Piece // Bikini Top // Bikini Bottom // Romper // Button Up

Why I Liked: The swimsuits are super cute and have decent coverage. The one-piece is not something I could wear strapless, out of fear of one (or both) of the girls escaping, but it’s a super cute seersucker and I love the look. The coverups are also right up my alley, cute, crisp, and easy to toss on as an outfit.

Why I Didn’t Buy: Primarily, the price. $100+ for a swimsuit? Not really in my budget. And while I would LOVE to have this romper, I am a long torso lady, and rompers just aren’t my jam, despite my best efforts.

J. Crew Factory

Pro: This is usually my primary J. Crew. The style, the goal wardrobe, and the prices are much closer to my budget, and I can hit the sales pretty well to the basics I need.
Con: I find that J. Crew Factory tends to have a lot of trendy pieces that stray a little farther from the modern preppy look I usually prefer. Which is fine, it just means that there are fewer pieces that are really up my alley, especially for coverups this year. And again, with diversity, it’s lacking here a well with again, a lot of thin and mostly white women.

LBI Region beach in the background. The foreground has three photos of swimsuits from J. Crew Factory. The first is a color-blocked one-piece swimsuit with a medium blue top over the shoulders and a navy blue lower half. The second is a green scalloped bikini with a small tie on the top. The third is a red bikini with a small white floral pattern throughout.

One Piece // Green Bikini Top // Green Bikini Bottom // Red Bikini Top // Red Bikini Bottom

Why I Liked: Cute designs, better prices, and better coverage. The bikini tops seemed pretty secure, and the red bikini and one-piece looked like they have really good booty coverage.

Why I Didn’t Buy: These suits are super cute, but they just didn’t quite do it for me! The price wasn’t quite right, and I feel that based on my sizing, the one-piece isn’t THE most supportive. It just. Eh? These are good picks for the right person, but just not for me!

Old Navy

Pro: More affordable styles, lots of stackable deals, and a much more diverse group of models!
Con: A lot of trendy pieces and colors, which isn’t my favorite thing in the world. And quality-wise, Old Navy isn’t setting any record here. But it’s a good quality for the price!

LBI Region beach in the background. The foreground has four photos of swimsuits and coverups from Old Navy. The first is a dip-dye bikini fading from pink to white to orange. The second is a white one-piece swimsuit with pink, blue, and green floral pattern throughout and a small tie at the waist. The third is a teal one-piece with a twist at the chest. The fourth is a black bikini with a high waist bottom and long line top.

Dip Dye Bikini Top // Dip Dye Bikini Bottom // Floral One Piece // Ribbed One Piece // Black Longline Bikini Top // Black Longline Bikini Bottom

Why I Liked: First and foremost, all of these swimsuits feel like they have great boob coverage. The black longline one might be a little more risky, but even then, it seems like full coverage tops. And again, the prices are super reasonable, especially when you stack sales!

Why I Didn’t Buy: These were almost the ones! My only issue is that I always need to try on clothes at Old Navy for size. And usually, that’s no problem. They have great returns and it processes really quickly. But if I didn’t have to likely do the exchanges, Old Navy might have been the one!

Aerie

Pro: Price-wise, Aerie is right in the middle. Could it be a little cheaper? Yes, but it’s not breaking the bank. Diversity is also a big plus. A lot better size diversity and racial diversity, not that my picks apparently reflect that. I also really appreciate that Aerie models actually look like they enjoy wearing the swimsuits and are like, real people? Not just breathing mannequins, which is really a pet peeve.
Con: A lot of trendy pieces. Like, a lot. Which is tough, because I don’t love buying trendy items. I don’t often buy bathing suits, so I don’t want to get one that’s only good for one season. Lastly, cheeky swimsuits aren’t really topping my comfortable clothing list, and most of Aerie’s bottoms are more of a cheeky fit.

LBI Region beach in the background. The foreground has four photos of swimsuits and coverups from Aerie. The first is a kelly green, ribbed bikini. The second is a black one-piece swimsuit with a tie on the mid-back, and below it a keyhole cutout. The third is a light blue and white jacquard pattern bikini with a small decorative tie on the front of the top. The fourth is a solid blue bikini, with high rise bottoms.

Green Bikini Top // Green Bikini Bottom // Black One Piece // Blue Jacquard Bikini Top // Blue Jacquard Bikini Bottom // Solid Blue Bikini Top // Solid Blue Bikini Bottom

Why I Liked: So many color and pattern choices! It took me a long time to narrow down which swimsuits I put in my cart, and these colors and patterns were so cute. I love that all these suits have pretty good coverage on top and a lot of different fit and size choices for the bottoms, coming from someone who prefers a higher coverage suit.

What I Bought

LBI Region beach in the background. The foreground has two photos of swimsuits from Aerie. The first is a black one-piece swimsuit with a tie on the mid-back, and below it a keyhole cutout. The second is a solid blue bikini, with high-rise bottoms.

Black One Piece // Solid Blue Bikini Top // Solid Blue Bikini Bottom

After a very long search and many arduous hours of online shopping, I finally found the ones! Sarcasm aside, I’m super excited to get these Aerie swimsuits. I love the fuller coverage bottoms, the tops seem pretty supportive, and they have pretty reasonable prices.
The black one-piece was a real winner because it was the only one I found that had more pizzaz to it. Lots of the others were pretty simple, with little bows or nothing at all. This one, despite being plain black, has a cute tie and a little keyhole back.
The bikini was a tough choice, I really had a hard time picking which one to get, because I just couldn’t buy three bikinis, I just don’t go to the beach enough to warrant it, despite the fact that I live like 20 minutes away from the ocean. But I went with the blue bikini because it’s my favorite color, the model looks like she has good support up top, and the matching bottoms were my favorite style!


Keep an eye out on my Instagram in the coming weeks to see how these Aerie swimsuits fit and look, I’ll be posting about them soon! In the meantime, check out similar posts here.

First Three Months of Explorer Media: Thoughts, Goals, + 4 Tools I Love

Cheers folks, Explorer Media has made it through its first 90 days! That’s right, I made a real business, and it has survived the first quarter, pop the champagne folks, we raked in a bucket o cash too. Not really. But it’s been fun. I love my clients, I love my job, and I love working for myself (okay, like 98% of the time). But I made it my first three months and dang it, I am proud!

Hands typing on a Dell laptop in the background. In the foreground a white computer mouse with an American flag pattern sits on a white legal pad next to a tortoise shell phone case with Explorer Media printed on it.

First Thoughts

I’m pretty happy with how my work through Explorer Media is going these first three months. My website came out really well, my major client is pretty happy, and I’m starting to invest some money back into the business. Investing sounds so serious. I bought some really simple desk gear to up my workspace. Keep an eye out on ExplorerMedia.co to see more on those soon. 

On the whole, I think there are a lot of places where I can do better, but I’m not totally unhappy with it.  

Goals for Q2

Add more to my portfolio

I’ve been really slow to write up case studies for client work on the Explorer Media site. It doesn’t look so hot to new clients checking in on the website, and it just doens’t look great to have missing blocks on the portfolio. It’s something I’m trying to make a regular habit of. My goal is posting one new portfolio element every week. 

Attend More Networking Events

Now that I’m finally realizing where my strengths and passions are when it comes to clients, it’s time to hustle and go get a few more! Explorer Media launched a new program for businesses in the LBI Region, and it’s time to put in the legwork and go out to meet new clients. I’m working with my local chamber to boost my reach and find events, I’m ready to go with virtual business cards and cute masks, and I’m finally getting COVID-19 vaccine too!

Be More Active on my Social Media

You know the adage about the shoemaker’s kids? They’re the last ones to get new shoes? It’s the same for digital marketers. Explorer Media socials (and my personal socials!) are always the last one to get posts! I’ve been working on producing more reels, building up my personal following, and just plain being active on my social. It’s definitely a work in progress, but I would really like to get more consistent and have a better showing online!

4 Tools I Love

Affiliate links ahead, I make commissions on these links to no extra cost to you. 

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe isn’t a must-have for social media, but for my communications work, it’s essential. It’s helped me client adjust logo colors, develop print media elements, build annual reports, and more. If digital or print communications are essential to your business like they are for Explorer Media, Adobe is a need.

Canva

While Adobe Creative Cloud is the best software for design, 80% of the time as a social media manager, I’m using Canva. Canva is great, it’s affordable, it has SO many amazing things available for free, easy to learn, and it’s where I can provide clients with elements so they can learn to grow their business independently too. Canva is an absolute must have for me. Canva Pro is also huge. The free plans are great, but with the pro plan there is access to so many more templates, fonts, images, graphics and more. 
Join Canva Pro today!

Constant Contact

I have been using Constant Contact for years and I love it. Most of the Explorer Media clients are small and medium-sized businesses, so Constant Contact is perfect for them. It’s easy to use, it scales to some really great automations, integrated with a ton of other programs, and I really do love it. I was really excited when I was accepted into the Constant Contact Partner Program too, and I’m working on getting my platform certification!
Get a free Constant Contact trial!

Creator Studio

I have tried and tried to find the best social media scheduling software. But I’ll let you in on a secret. Creator Studio is unfortunately the best. Other platforms are exceptionally pricey, have rumors or reduced engagement, or are just a PITA to learn. Creator Studio, is the best so far for scheduling IG and FB content. But I really do need Zuckerberg to figure out how I can schedule stories and reels there too!


I’m really proud of myself for launching Explorer Media. It wasn’t something I really saw myself doing for a few years, but with the difficulties finding a job during the lockdown, I took the leap. I’m nervous and excited and really really looking forward to what I can do!